Recent trends in the Fountain of Youth Stakes

March 2nd, 2022

Arguably the most anticipated of the Kentucky Derby (G1) preps on Saturday is the $400,000 Fountain of Youth S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

Here are some recent trends worth noting about the Fountain of Youth since 2010.

Post-time favorites have won slightly below the average

In the last 11 runnings of the Fountain of Youth, post-time favorites have won three times, though a fourth was erased in 2015 when odds-on choice Upstart was disqualified from the win and placed second. 

The Fountain of Youth has proven a particularly tough nut to crack for favorites making their first start of the season. That humbled group includes Buddy's Saint (9-5 in 2010), Violence (3-5 in 2013), Good Magic (7-10 in 2018), and Dennis' Moment (13-10 in 2020). That leads us to the next trend...

Winners making their season debut have been rare

Only two horses during the period in question have won the Fountain of Youth first up. Union Rags won by an easy four lengths as the 6-5 second choice in 2012, while 18-1 chance Promises Fulfilled toppled the aforementioned Good Magic in 2018.

Post position has not been a significant factor

Gulfstream Park is a 1 1/8-mile oval, thus 1 1/16-mile races like the Fountain of Youth involve a very short run to the first turn. In theory, that would generally benefit horses drawn closer to the inside or no worse than the middle of the pack.

However, the recent history of the Fountain of Youth suggests post position is generally not a major factor. While post 1 alone has yielded three winners since 2010, three of the last four Fountain of Youth winners broke from posts 8, 9, and 10.